Oklahoma Democratic Party Opposes “Right to Farm” Legislation

[OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, April 20, 2015] – “House Joint Resolution 1012, otherwise known as “Right to Farm” is going to end up being just like ‘Right to Work’ where it is promoted to protect the rights of Oklahomans but in reality it only protects big businesses and their ‘rights’ to abuse the system for their own benefit,” Wallace Collins, chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party said in a statement on Monday.

Collins went on to say, “The proposal is so vague that not only is it confusing to legislators and voters, but it could also lead to a legal challenge in the court system. Oklahoma is considered a ‘rural’ or ‘ag-friendly’ state, and I can confidently say that the majority of Oklahomans support our local, family farms; however, what people don’t understand about this bill is that it is based off of model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“This would do away with the rights of local municipalities to govern what’s right for them and their property owners, as well as open the doors to allow big agriculture corporations, like Monsanto and Cargill, to have free-reign to do whatever they want. Even after an attempt by Senator Kay Floyd (D-Oklahoma City) to grant control to the local level, Republicans overwhelming responded by saying that this was ‘not a local issue’ and should be left up to the state – the same people that complain about not enough control at the local level.

“Let’s take action to not only protect the rights of our own, home-grown ag community but also the rights of property owners and residents all across Oklahoma. Many Oklahomans would object to the pollution of our air quality, driving down property values and commerce, and the degradation of our water sources due to increased runoff from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), puppy mills, and dangerous chemicals in applied fertilizers.

“This legislation is not protecting the ‘right to farm’ of local farmers and ranchers but is instead promoting the ‘right to harm’ our communities, our environment, and the rights of our citizens.”